An international conference hosted by Jeddah revealed a Saudi initiative to support innovation in the desalination industry.
The Innovation Driven Desalination conference, organized by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation in partnership with the International Desalination Organization (IDA), was held in Jeddah on Tuesday in the presence of Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli.
On this occasion, the Governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, Eng. Abdullah Al-Abdul Karim, announced a global award that aims to support and encourage innovation in the desalination industry.
The award, with a total value of USD 10 million divided over three years, will focus on the decrease of energy consumption and capital and operating costs, the use of new technologies, opportunities for business model transformation, and future analytical studies related to innovation.
The award targets researchers in public and private centers, universities, entrepreneurs, and employees of companies operating in the desalination industry at the local, regional and global levels.
Abdul Karim emphasized the Corporation’s keenness to promote and support innovation, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Green Saudi Initiative.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture underlined the Kingdom’s success in facing the challenge of national food security during global events.
Eng. Mansour Al-Mushaiti told Asharq Al-Awsat that one of the pillars of food security was local production and Saudi external investments.
He stressed that the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), which is owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has increased its capital and promoted its foreign investments in several countries including India, Australia, Canada and Ukraine, with the aim to secure supply chains.
“Today, many of our activities and projects have begun to bear fruit and achieved the desired goals, including the improvement of all macroeconomic indicators,” Al-Mushaiti said.
He noted that the agricultural sector’s contribution to the GDP was estimated at SR 63 billion.
The Saudi official added that the ministry had a busy calendar with many activities targeting the strengths in the field of agriculture and focusing on the crop structure and the comparative advantage of each region.